MATT Tubbs struck with 10 minutes to go as Crawley snatched a point at the County Ground this evening.
Following a lacklustre opening period from both sides, Joe Walsh deflected Jack Barthram’s cross into his own net to give Town the lead but the hosts were unable to further their advantage despite a handful of opportunities.
Ryan Harley, Nathan Byrne, Louis Thompson and Barthram stood out for Mark Cooper’s side on a night where a number of fringe players were covering for absent regulars, but they were punished when Tubbs slid in to convert from a Josh Simpson cross.
After an opening half an hour lacking in any real quality, Town, in particular Darren Ward, were lucky to escape after the skipper chopped down Jamie Proctor in the box for what was a clear penalty in every set of eyes apart from referee Simon Rushton’s.
With pockets of the home crowd on their backs, it was Town who had the best chance of the half as Dany N’Guessan latched onto a flick by Michael Smith but could only tamely guide the ball into the arms of keeper Paul Jones from just a few yards out.
It remained deadlocked until the break but with only three minutes on the clock after the two teams returned, Walsh was on hand to turn Barthram’s cross into his own net under pressure from Byrne.
From there Town grew into the game, with Jacob Murphy, Louis Thompson and N’Guessan all having chances to double the lead, but the hosts were punished when Tubbs slid home to convert Josh Simpson’s low ball in.